Rock Climbing

This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2021 issue of Appalachia Journal. At a secluded crag near my house, there’s a climbing route called Malevolent Eye. It’s 32 feet high, with a 3-foot overhang and a difficulty rating of 5.10–. It’s tricky enough to challenge a good climber, with several blade-thin holds and a…

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  When heading outdoors adventure, it’s important to carry a first aid kit with you at all times. Not only is it one of the ten essentials, it’s also crucial for common injuries and mishaps you may experience. After all, you never know when misfortune may strike. Amid a global pandemic, however, you must also…

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  New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Lt. Jim Kneeland doesn’t go anywhere without his phone these days. Or his maps. Kneeland oversees Fish and Game operations in the western White Mountains and since the beginning of summer, he’s been on the receiving end of a seemingly endless torrent of calls for help. Not just search…

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  Spending time outdoors is great for both your mental and physical health, and it’s a lot of fun. But even with all that nature offers us, it’s important to recognize our own impact on the environment and spaces we enjoy when heading outdoors—and do our best to minimize it. For nearly 150 years, AMC…

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  Health and safety go hand in hand with humans’ environmental impact. By planning a trip ahead of time, you consider all the factors that go into its success and identify ways to lessen your impact on the areas you plan to visit. “The impacts of poor planning can be significant,” says Alex Delucia, Leave…

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  According to Leave No Trace principles, anything that does not belong in nature in the first place should be carried out. This “pack in, pack out” philosophy applies to trash and food waste, human and domesticated animal waste, soaps, lotions, and other products. “Human waste is a hazard to public health and also attracts…

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  Eileen Yin spent most of her spring online with AMC. A long-time volunteer with the organization’s New York–North Jersey Chapter, Yin has dedicated much of her free time to planning and leading trips for her chapter, providing a space for members to socialize, try new activities, or just be outdoors. “AMC made a big…

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Rock climbers are used to having to take rest days, but this quarantine is making my calluses become involuntarily soft. I’ve been climbing for 15 years, both competitively and recreationally. After high school, I hung up my competition shoes and moved to California for college—based on its proximity to climbing haven Joshua Tree National Park,…

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If you’ve mastered the basics of rock climbing and are eager to take your passion outdoors, you might be ready to graduate from indoor walls to real rock faces. First, research what type of climbing you’d like to pursue: traditional, top roping, or bouldering. Then, check with your local AMC chapter or climbing gym to…

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Climbing shoes come in three different styles—neutral, moderate, and aggressive—and become progressively more arched, or “cambered,” to take on more difficult climbs. Beginners should opt for the flattest, most neutral style, which offers good all-around performance with a relaxed, wear-all-day fit. More advanced climbers will want arched shoes, which compress your toes and create more…

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